Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsNorman, Isadora B.
Academic DepartmentAnthropology
Thesis AdvisorGross, Joan
DegreeHonors Baccalaureate of Arts in International Studies in Spainish and Anthropology
Number of Pages56
Date Published05/2004
UniversityOregon State University
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordsimmigration, Spain

Immigration is a current hot topic in Spain, influencing economic trends, political
decisions and daily lives. While in countries in Northern Europe migrant workers have
been the norm for decades, south of the Pyrenees the historical trend has been one of outmigration.
Changing economic and demographic factors are creating a new 'wave' of
immigration to Spain. The largest and most visible groups of hopeful residents are
players in a new north-south dynamic: mainly male agricultural laborers from the
Maghreb and female service workers from Latin America. Their experience is defined by
two factors -- how the Spanish concepts of self and Other shape perceptions and
acceptance of immigrant groups and the social networks in place to aid integration. In
order to better understand the social construction of immigrants in Spain, this study will
discuss the impact the Franco/post-Franco generational divide has on the perception of
and attitude towards the immigrant Other. The remnants of Franco's isolationist and
xenophobic policies still influence the construction of Other in certain regions and among
older and politically conservative sectors of the population. However, younger and more
liberal sectors of the Spanish population are tuned into immigrant issues and are calling
for government policies that foster immigration. The migrants and their labor are key to
Spain's future, but it will first be necessary to discover a way for the Spanish host
population to accept their new neighbors and work towards successful integration.